What We Say 2006 Premier Cuvée Pinot Noir
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Mission Codename: The Arrows of Dijon
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Send Agent Red to
Mission Status: Successful!
Current Winery: Archery Summit
Wine Subject: 2006 Premier Cuvée Pinot Noir
Winemaker: Anna Matzinger
The Oregon’s Willamette Valley, just south of Portland and along the Willamette River is well known for Pinot Noir and other Burgundian varietals. Its deep and fertile volcanic soil, cooler climate most directly effect viticulture. Most of the vineyards in this area are planted in the valley’s and hillsides along the river.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – This beautiful wine has the appearance of fine cherry juice, with a slightly more concentrated heart of ruby. The concentrated color of the wine continues from the core of the wine, right out to the wine’s pinkish edges. When swirled, the wine appears bouncy, but settles fast, leaving behind skinny and evenly-spaced legs that emerge slowly and then streak down the glass
Smell – On initial pour, this wine presents very ultra-light aromas. This had me worried, at first, but on swirling the wine for a while – allowing it to breath, classic Oregon Pinot aromatics emerged. This wine shows off prominent black cherry and, flinty minerals, soft dark mixed berries, subtle dried rose petal and spice
Feel – On entry, the wine is light, velvet-smooth and slightly round. It starts cool and soft and then medium tannins take hold, drying the top of the tongue and inside the cheeks, inducing a slight pucker
Taste – Delicious, with perfect the balance of bright fruit, dark fruit and a tasty earthiness. With dark cherry, smoky mixed berries and spice leading off, the wine also shows off layers of earthen minerals, soft dried leaves and spice
Finish – Ultra long, leading with slightly tart flavors, dry – then sweet fruit and spice emerge as flavors tail off slowly
Conclusion – This is an Oregon Pinot Noir to go gaga over! If you want to know why Archery Summit is known as the quintessential Oregon Pinot House, this wine delivers the message loud and clear – and deliciously! With Burgundian aromatics and delicious Oregon fruit (all Dijon clone), this wine is best when served after decanting. On opening the bottle, the nose was almost undetectable. After some time in the air, the wine metamorphosed, and aromas and flavors absolutely jumped from the glass. Food-friendliness is present in perfect proportion as well, with enough bright acidity to make it a flexible paring partner. We enjoyed our sample bottles with wild mushroom pasta, grilled vegetarian Italian sausages and a light summer salad. The wine complimented the meal brilliantly. If you are a fan of Oregon Pinot – actually any Pinot – this wine is certain to give you great pleasure.
Enjoy now and lay a few bottles down for the next few years.
VINEYARD MANAGER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Leigh Bartholomew
DATE OF BIRTH: April 17, 1970
PLACE OF BIRTH: Stockton, California
WINE EDUCATION: Master’s Degree at UC Davis in Horticulture specialization in Viticulture
WINE JOB BRIEF: I worked in Washington State for Andrew Will winery as my first wine job, just helping out during harvest in 1995. Then went to Chile and got thrown to the sharks in a wonderfully rustic winery, went to Davis and worked internships at Robert Mondavi Winery and Cain Vineyards. Then worked in New Zealand and Burgundy finally reaching the heart of Pinot land (Oregon) in 2000.
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: I am the vineyard manager so my grape growing philosophy is to listen to the vines and to adapt to the vintage. No two years are alike and we have to be ready to change tactics at any moment.
SIGNATURE VARIETAL: Pinot Noir
CAREER HIGHLIGHT: Working with Denis Mortet in Burgundy and Brian Bicknell at Seresin in the same year.
QUOTE: “Worse things happen at sea.”
VINEYARD MANAGER INTERVIEW
AGENT RED: Greetings, Leigh. We are thrilled to be showing your amazing Pinot Noir today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives.
LEIGH BARTHOLOMEW: Great to be here. Thanks for having me.
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
LEIGH: Working as a server at a French restaurant in Seattle and trying lots of beautiful wines. One night we tried a Batard Montrachet that changed my path in life. I went right back to a community college and started taking all of the science classes I had stayed as far away from as I could during my undergrad studies and started my application for Davis.
RED: And where did you learn the most about vineyards and winemaking?
LEIGH: On the job. School is great to get you primed and teaches you where to find the info you might need but I never really understood what I was learning until I had to make it work in the field.
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your wine style?
LEIGH: Anna Matzinger, our winemaker, and I work together very closely to achieve the wine style we have at Archery Summit, she has been a great influence on what I do in the vineyard.
RED: How long have you been taking care of vineyards?
LEIGH: Since 1998.
RED: Who do you make wine for?
LEIGH: Myself, Anna and our loyal consumers.
RED: Tell me, what makes this so special?
LEIGH: The climate, soil and camaraderie.
RED: What is one piece of advice that you would give to someone that is considering a career in wine?
LEIGH: You better love it because it becomes who you are.
RED: What is occupying your time in the vineyards these days?
LEIGH: We are pulling leaves right now, opening up the canopy to increased light and air flow and are getting ready to start thinning the crop. Each year we decrease the amount of fruit nature has given us sometimes by as much as 60%.
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today
LEIGH: The 2006 Premier Cuvee is a blend of grapes from our five estate vineyards. It is 100% Pinot Noir but has components from all of the sites we farm. The core of the blend is made up of fruit from our Arcus Estate (giving the wine its front palate and beautiful floral components) and from our Archery Summit Estate (giving the texture and strength). It’s a beautiful summation of our vineyards.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
LEIGH: It is a very versatile wine but I love it with anything from the grill right now, grilled salmon, eggplant, mushrooms. Yum.
RED: Please share one thing about yourself that few people know
LEIGH: If I did then everyone would know right? What is the fun in that? I am a mom of two boys (ages 5 and 7) who love to taste grapes with me and help Anna and me decide when the fruit is ripe and ready to pick.
RED:What is your favorite ‘everyday’ or table wine?
LEIGH: Depends on the weather really but a nice rose is compelling these days. A rose of Pinot Noir of course.
RED: Of course. How would you recommend that people approach your wines, or wine in general?
LEIGH: Just enjoy and explore! At Archery Summit we make single vineyard wines from our five different estate vineyards. It’s interesting to sit down with each of them and see how the vineyard personality shows through in the wine.
RED: If you could choose any one wine to drink (regardless of price or availability), what would it be?
LEIGH: Something different every day. I would love to have that luxury.
RED: What is the one question that I should have asked you, and what is your answer to that question?
LEIGH: Q: Why did I choose grape growing and not winemaking? A: I like the idea of being outside with the vines and the people. My job is really very diverse, from walking the vineyard blocks to look for problems to planning new areas for planting to keeping track of all we have done in a year so that the next year we can see the differences. I love the speed with which vines grow and how they can surprise you.
RED: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and about your wine. We love your wines and it was great to spend this time with you!
LEIGH: Thank you too. Let me know if I can tell you more. I am always happy to share.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Archery Summit Winery can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Archery Summit Winery
About This Wine:
Scarlet red in color, the 2006 Premier Cuvée opens with lifted aromas of black cherries, rose petal, vanilla and a hint of savory spice. Pomegranate, currant floral notes notes mingle on the palate with mulling spices, anise, juicy plum and clean earth. The wine is sumptuous and bright with layers of mineral, flint and spice surrounding a seductive black cherry core. There is balance and good concentration here; tannins are rich but restrained, revealing a wine with depth of flavor and clean lines. Succulent and focused, this wine is ready for enjoyment now, however may improve with proper cellaring over the next five to eight years.
ORIGIN: Our search to produce world-class Pinot Noir led us to the Dundee Hills of Oregon. Premier Cuvée, our proprietary blend, is made from both our oldest Pommard vines and Dijon clones 113, 114, 115, 667, and 777. Our hillside vineyards, which are planted with up to 4,800 vines per acre, are tended exclusively by our crew of dedicated vineyard workers.
VINEYARD: Our narrowly spaced estate vineyards are planted in volcanic Jory soil and are on east, south-east and south-west facing slopes. We have planted Dijon clones 113,114, 115, 667, and 777 on selected rootstocks in high-density vineyard blocks to complement our older self-rooted Pommard and Wädenswil vines. Premier Cuvée is a combination of fruit from our four vineyard Estates: Arcus Estate, Red Hills Estate, Renegade Ridge Estate and Archery Summit Estate located in the Dundee Hills AVA, and includes a small percentage from our Looney Vineyard located in the Ribbon Ridge AVA. Warm days and cool nights in 2006 produced wines with succulent texture and generous, expressive fruit.
WINEMAKING: Fruit was hand picked and harvested between September 26th and October 11th, 2006. The fermentation for the 2005 Premier Cuvée was conducted in both stainless steel and wooden open top fermentors utilizing an average of 13% whole clusters. The fruit was hand sorted and soaked cold for 5-10 days, after which native yeast fermentation was allowed to proceed under temperature controlled conditions. During primary fermentation, tanks were punched down one to three times per day. After limited post fermentation maceration, the wine was sent via gravity to 65% new French oak Francois Freres, Rousseau, Damy, Sirugue and Sylvain barrels, and remained there for eight months prior to bottling. The 2006 Premier Cuvée was bottled unfiltered in August 2007.
About The Winery:
Centuries of winemaking have proven that the best way to move grapes from bin to barrel is with the natural force of gravity. This is particularly true for the delicate, easily damaged Pinot Noir grape. We knew from the start that the building at Archery Summit would be, despite cost, a gravity flow winery. We also wanted our “home” to be simple. Designed from the ground up, actually, from below the ground, our winery integrates classic architecture and technically advanced viticulture.
Built into the hillside of our estate vineyard, the winery has five floors, two above ground and three below. Grapes received into small capacity bins, hand-sorted, and de-stemmed on the top floor travel downward one floor at a time to our fermentation hall, aging caves, and bottling area, all without character-damaging pumps. An innovative part of our 100 percent gravity-flow process is an elevator system on the lowest floor, 60 feet below the vineyard, which lifts the tanks of blended wine to barrel or bottling level. With its Mediterranean exterior and subterranean caves, the Archery Summit winery, like our wine, is an original expression of old-world aesthetics and new-world savvy.
About The Winemaker:
Anna Matzinger – Good winemaking is a mix of science and intuition, but it takes a confident winemaker, like Anna Matzinger, to find the right balance. The way she achieves this is by being fully present in the process. She’s not just a director, but a collaborator involved at every step of growing and making the wine. With small trays of estate-grown Pinot Noir grapes arriving non-stop on the sorting line, Anna’s often there to catch that one cluster that is just less than perfect. “You have to see and feel this fruit coming in to know what you’ll be working with during fermentation and a year later when blending.”
”The chemistry is important, but you can’t rely on test results to make great wine,” says Anna. “You’ve got to walk through the vineyard, crawl inside the tanks, make judgments in the barrel. Then you’ve got a chance at greatness.”
Anna began her winemaking career as a lab technician at Beringer Vineyards in Napa Valley. However, she didn’t develop her magical touch in the lab but by working harvests and helping make wine in New Zealand, Australia and California. Anna further honed her talents when she joined the winemaking team at Archery Summit in 1999. Three years later, she became our winemaker. Since then, the rave reviews of “Anna’s vintages” offer testament to her remarkable balance of skill and sixth sense.